Category Archives: Business disputes

Football fairness: Lessons for ADR?

“It’s not fair!” How many times have mediators and negotiators heard that refrain? Whether from the mouth of the negotiator across the table or the politician seeking higher taxes, everyone wants their “fair share.” But what is ‘”fairness” anyway? Is there a more subjective, elusive, or slippery word anywhere in the dictionary? Like other perceptions that affect negotiation, fairness is in the mind of the beholder. Yet the concept is...

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Talk Less, Listen More, Negotiate Better
A recent Wall Street Journal article brought home to me again the importance of listening for successful negotiating. Journalist Masada Siegel reported interviewing Glen Cohen, a retired hostage negotiator for the Israel Defense Forces. For a hostage negotiator, listening can mean life or death. Cohen says the biggest mistake to make is to jump to the last step in the negotiation: behavioral change. To achieve behavioral change, the negotiator must...
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The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: How We Create Our Own Conflicts

...And How We Might Stop Doing So

Why does an athlete who languishes on one team flourish when traded to another? Why does a move from one school to another result in a student’s change from mediocrity to discovery of new inner resources? Why do the police and the communities they serve often remain at odds? Why are my negotiations with “difficult” adversaries usually unproductive? The answers may lie in a...
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Food for Thought…And for Negotiation
ADR professionals and experienced negotiators know that food can play an important role in building rapport, establishing connection, and fostering trust between adversaries.   Food is ubiquitous at family gatherings, in religious ceremonies, and at diplomatic meetings for good reason.  But how can food figure in our negotiations, arbitrations, and mediations? As Barry Goldman observes in The Science of Settlement: “Food is good. . . . . [A}s a consequence, things associated...
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